Kitchen sink: on one side is a Gfi outlet, the other has a non gfi outlet. Both are wet areas, but through some kind of technical wiring, both outlets are protected by the single GFI unit and therefor meet code. Possible/true?

Guest bath and Master bath: Guest bath has GFI outlet next to sink, Master bath has non gfi outlet next to its sink. Again,both outlets are protected by the single GFI unit and therefor meet code. Possible/true?

  • A standard receptacle that is protected by a GFCI breaker or by a GFCI receptacle through the load terminals is supposed to have a small sticker on it stating "GFCI protected". GFCI receptacles have a set of these stickers included in the box. Apr 7, 2019 at 17:42
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    @JimStewart True, but (a) stickers can fall off, (b) many people probably just don't bother with the stickers, (c) in my house when my electrician put in a bunch of GFCI ~ 15 - 20 years ago, he didn't bother - I don't know if the labels are newer or if he was in the category of "don't bother with the stickers". Apr 7, 2019 at 20:46

2 Answers 2


Absolutely possible, if done correctly.

First, the simple test

  • Make sure (nightlights or any other small devices) that both receptacles work (i.e., GFCI and regular in kitchen; or GFCI and regular in bathroom)
  • Press the TEST button.
  • Verify that BOTH receptacles have lost power.

If only the GFCI receptacle loses power then either the regular receptacle is not wired to the GFCI correctly, or it is on a different circuit altogether. In both of these locations, it is important that all receptacles be GFCI protected, so this is an important thing to test (and to fix if needed).

How it works

A typical GFCI receptacle includes two sets of screw terminals. One is labeled LINE and the other is labeled LOAD. The LINE side is connected to the incoming hot & neutral wires. The LOAD side is connected to any downstream protected receptacles. The GFCI electronics detect any imbalance on the attached receptacle and on anything connected using the LOAD terminals.

What if it doesn't work?

If the regular receptacle doesn't turn off when the GFCI is tested then there is a small possibility that the GFCI is defective. But far more likely is that the regular receptacle is connected on the LINE side instead of the LOAD side. That may be double wires on screws (allowed in some cases, depending on design of the receptacle) or by connecting incoming hot, GFCI LINE hot and a third wire to the regular receptacle together, and the same connection with the neutral wires as well. If that's the case, you just need to move the wires going to the regular receptacles over to the LOAD side of the GFCI receptacle.

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    GFCIs tend to have better quality screw connections which allow screw-to-clamp type connections. Those support 2 wires under a screw. Apr 7, 2019 at 21:28
  • @Harper As a homeowner amateur, I haven't installed very many myself. I'll take your word for it and update. Apr 7, 2019 at 21:43

This isn't obvious when you are looking at a GFCI+Receptacle combo device, because you think "oh, the outlets are the sockets". But that's not the only kind of GFCI device. They also have GFCI+circuit breaker combo devices, and they also have barenaked GFCIs.

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The latter devices seem senseless until you realize they are able to protect downline loads wired to their outputs. Well, GFCI receptacles can do that too.

They don't just have the 2 screws for hot and neutral? Underneath the "Do Not Remove - For Wizards Only" warning tape, there are 2 additional screws designed for protecting downline loads like GFCI breakers can.

Dumb would be fitting a GFCI+receptacle at every outlet location, when a wizard can use this feature to good effect.

Dumber is installing a GFCI on the protected output of another GFCI, because now you are wasting good money on redundant protection. You also have a nightmare when it trips, because they all trip and must be reset in a particular sequence.

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